Darren Weir’s beaten Hobart Cup favourite Big Duke is back for atonement this Wednesday leading betting on the Launceston Cup 2017 field in Tasmania.
Continuing the action of the Tasmanian Summer Racing Carnival, this season’s $200,000 Group 3 Launceston Cup (2400m) has attracted a 15-stayer field.
The latest Launceston Cup odds at Ladbrokes.com.au have the ultra-consistent Raven’s Pass five-year-old from Warrnambool Big Duke as the $2.50 favourite.
The Victorian visitor suffered a wide blow drawn out in gate 13 for jockey Ben Allen to overcome, but has the distance to do so.
He comes up from 54kg last start to 55.5kg after finishing one and a half-lengths away second as the beaten favourite in the Group 3 Hobart Cup (2400m) on February 5.
This is his first look at Launceston Racecourse, but the bookies are taking no chances and tipping improvement as he has his second run in the Apple Isle.
Hot on Big Duke’s heels in the Launceston Cup betting markets is his last start conqueror Count Da Vinci ($3.60) chasing the Tassie Cups double.
Jockey David Pieres stays aboard the local Scott Brunton-trained Faltaat six-year-old from Seven Mile Beach, Count Da Vinci drawn the outside alley.
The Launceston specialist is unbeaten at the track (3-3-0-0) and has been in flying form this spring – summer campaign.
Proven at the distance, Count Da Vinci only has to handle the alley and the step up in weight from 54kg in the Hobart Cup to 57.5kg to win again.
Along with the Hobart Cup winner, Brunton has also accepted for Gladstone ($13) out in gate 14 and the flying roughie Big Pegg ($51) in barrier eight.
Gladstone comes off a third in the Hobart Cup beaten under two lengths, while the underrated Incumbent mare Big Pegg comes off back-to-back wins over 2100m at Launceston and Hobart respectively in easier class carrying more weight.
Despite the size of the Launceston Cup field, just two other hopefuls are currently under $10 for the win on Wednesday with the rails-drawn Our Lucky Omens ($9.50) and market mover Unfurl ($9).
Kelvin Bourke prepares Lucky Owners seven-year-old Our Lucky Omens out of Geelong and the 40 start veteran comes off a second in the Colac Cup (2000m) from February 12.
Unfurl is another Weir-trained galloper in the mix, the Raise The Flag mare having won two of her past three starts back home in Victoria.
Last time out she raced at Caulfield on Australia Day winning a fillies’ and mares’ Benchmark 84 over 2000m under 56kg.
She is up in distance off the freshen-up tested over the mile and a half for the first time, but well weighted on 54kg with Group 1 winning hoop Dean Yendall aboard for the ride.
Reigning Launceston Cup winner Up Cups in barrier two carries the 59kg top weight and pays $41 to successfully defend his title.
Check out the full Launceston Cup 2017 field, barriers, jockeys, weights and latest Fixed Win odds at Ladbrokes.com.au – home of Odds Boost (T&Cs apply).